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Possible Sources of Needham Name

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 22 Sep 2018
Location: Ireland to Virginiamap
Surname/tag: Needham_Bryan
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The goal of this project is to identify the source of Needham Bryan's first name.


John Needham came over with Sandys in the ship George

A genforum post discusses another possible source of the Needham name:

"The Virginia genealogist Worth Ray back in the 1920s and 1930s was sifting earlier genealogical info from 'Hathaway's Magazine' and he gave a much earlier origin to the union of the Bryan and Needham families. The earliest Bryan he said was Edward Bryan who came over on the ship Bona Nova in 1620. Edward Watters obtained his headrights [as an indentured] from Thomas Hamor, brother of Capt. Ralph Hamor, and used them in 1624 to patent 100 acres of land two miles below Blunt Point in Elizabeth City County.
"Worth Ray thinks circumstantial evidence indicates that this first Edward Bryan married the daughter of John Needham, another indentured, who was one of the "servants" of the famous George Sandys, treasurer of the colony. Sandys used the headright of Needham to secure a patent to 400 acres of land in the precincts of Archer's Hope. Needham came over with Sandys in the ship George. He was an indentured but seemed to be employed doing trusted secretarial work.
"Worth Ray admits: 'There is a blank period between 1624 and about 1665 when an Edward Bryan (possibly a son, or maybe a grandson of the first Edward) married Christian Council, the daughter of Hodges Council and Lucy Hardy.' Lucy was the daughter of John Hardy
"Worth Ray, while admitting that a full list, name by name of Edward and Christian (Council) Bryan's offspring does not exist, claims 'emerging from the ancient archives of Old Albermarle and Eastern Virginia, it is comparatively easy to point them out' and gives his own list of their children as Needham Bryan, William, Richard, John, Lewis, and Hardy.
"This Needham Bryan seems to have died young, and his brother William was the one supposed to have married Lady Alice Needham (and a great feather in his cap it must have been for the descendant of so many impoverished indentures!) Worth Ray lists William's sons as Needham, John, and William Bryan. These coincidentally are the same that the 1705 will of John Macland lists as the children of his daughter Alice Bryan.
"Although the documentation of Worth Ray in his Lost tribes of North Carolina, where I picked this up, is a bit spotty in places, at least he is dealing with real people and real names, not some ephemeral Lady Alice of Kilmorey (whose documentation seems not so much spotty as nonexistent). I think his portrait of poor but relatively honest and hardworking people who ship out as indentures and eventually get hundreds of acres of land is far more likely." - Albert Nason

There are Hardy Bryans as Needham Bryan's descendants. [1]

Also Needham's possible daughter, Anne Bryan Wooten, has Lucy Hardy as an ancestor.

John (Needham) Needhome Primary Sources - James City County & Elizabeth City County, VA

John Needham arrived in Virginia in 1621.[2]

Needham came over with George Sandys in the ship "George" or from the Sumer Islands in the "Tyger". [3]

John Needham Needhome lived at a plantation near James City, Virginia, 16 Feb 1623 [4]see: [1] page 180

John Needham Needhome, just like Edward Bryan, is listed in the Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890 as living in Virginia PioneerTownship, (James City County for John & Elizabeth City County for Edward Bryan), VA in 1624.[5]Ancestry.com

Name: John Needome
State: VA
County: James City County
Township: Virginia Pioneer
Year: 1624
Database: VA Early Census Index
Name: Edward Bryan
State: VA
County: Elizabeth City County
Township: Virginia Pioneer
Year: 1624
Database: VA Early Census Index


James Needham the Explorer d. 1673

The family name Needham may have been for an explorer named James Needham who was killed in 1673 (see James Needham). That may be a stretch, as the earliest Needham Bryan found was born 1690.

It's Impossible for Alice Needham to have married William Bryan, Marquis of Thomond

This William Bryan (1655-1742) couldn't have been a Marquis of Thomond because he was born way ahead of all Marquis. The first Marquess of Thomond was Sir Murrough O'Brien (1726 – 10 February 1808); The 2nd Marquess of Thomond was William O'Brien (1765 – 21 August 1846). He succeeded by special remainder as Marquess of Thomond in 1808 on the death of his uncle Murrough O'Brien,

Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey

Charles Needham

Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey, Queen's Co & 4th Feudal Baron of Orhera, Co Armagh, died 1660 married Bridget, dau of Sir William Drury of Besthorpe, Norfolk. Died in the reign of Richard Cromwell. Joyce Ream is the 7 x ggd of Sir Charles Needham. He died a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1660. http://www.lackfamily.net/genealogy/names/whole%20family/f608.html#f168 So, if he died in 1660, how could he object to his (Alice Needham) daughter's marriage in 1689? Or - who was considered her "family" in 1689, that objected to her marriage? Her mom remarried. She married, secondly, Sir John Shaw, 1st Bt., son of Robert Shaw and Elizabeth Domilowe, on 24 June 1663 at Eltham, Kent, England. She married, thirdly, Sir John Baber on 15 February 1680/81 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, England. She died circa July 1699.1 She was buried on 11 July 1699 at Eltham, Kent, England.




Alice (1656-1729), dau. of Lord Needham

The abridged compendium of American genealogy : first families of America : a genealogical encyclopedia of the United States. Statement of Responsibility:edited by Frederick A. Virkus. Authors: Virkus, Frederick Adams (Main Author). Format: Books/Monographs/Book on Film. Language: English publication: Chicago, Illinois : A. N. Marquis, 1925-1942, Physical: 7 v. : ports. Title Also Known As:The compendium of American genealogy. Vol. 2 pages 52 - 128

  1. 8—William Bryan, Marquis of Thomond (1665­ 1742),from Ireland, 1689; settled in Isle of Wight Co., Va.; removed to N.C.. 1722:justice of peace; high sheriff; m 1689,Alice (1656-1729), dau. of Lord Needham;
  2. 7—Needham (1690-1767).justice of peace. Bertie Co.; mem. Assembly; m 1st, 1711,Annie Rambeau (1695-1730);
  3. 6—Col. Needham (1725-1800),col. militia; mem. Colonial Assembly and of every Provincial Congress of N.C.: m 1st, 1748,Nancy Smith (1728-60;Col. John’, mem. Colonial Assembly of N.C.):
  4. 5-Winonifred (1755-83),m 1773,Hon. Nathan Bryan (1750-98;Col. Hardy“ [1715-611,from Ireland to N.C.. m 1743,Mrs. Sarah [Bonner] Worseley. 1724-79,dau. of Thomas Bonner);

LINK : http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89061706727;view=1up;seq=58

Did William Bryan (1655-1742) marry two Alices?


William Bryan married 1st wife Alice Needham[6] (born Abt.1656- ), supposed daughter of Charles Needham and Bridget Drury. See "Alice NEEDHAM and Wm. BRYAN /N. C." below.


  1. Needham (1690-1 January 1770)
  2. John Bryan (1692-1735)

2nd wife Alice MacLand (1677 if this is her birth date, she is too young to be Needham's mother) daughter of John MacLand and Elizabeth


  1. William ( -1762)
  2. Mary (1697-1780)
  3. Alice (Bef 1705 because she is listed in grandfather John MacLand's will, unless 1705 means 1706 in the calendar of those days.)

If these dates are true, there is a slight time span between the birth of the two sets of children, which could suggest two possible wives. Also, the two possible wives could have been confused as one wife, thus causing all the discrepancies and inconsistancies in information.

Myth? - Why William & Alice Migrated to America

They emigrated to America in 1689 and lived first at the Isle of Wight Co, VA. They had three sons: William Bryan, Needham Bryan and John Bryan

William Bryan, son of John Bryan, was born about 1650 and he married Alice “Elsie” Needham , daughter of Lord Needham, in England about 1689. William Bryan was a Puritan while Alice Needham was a Royalist. Both families disapproved of their marriage, so there is speculation that they eloped. William and Alice came to America in 1689 and settled in Isle of Wright County, Virginia. In 1742, William moved to Albemarle Sound, Pasquotank County, NC with two of his sons, John Bryan and Needham Bryan. A third son, William Bryan Jr ., stayed behind for a time, moving to North Carolina later. William Bryan Sr. died in Pasquotank County September 23, 1742. Alice Needham was born in 1659 (or 1673) in England, and died November 14, 1714 (or in 1729) in Orange County, Virginia. jjs_78626 originally shared this on 05 Dec 2016 on Ancestry.com

William Bryan and Lady Alice Needham

Wm Bryan b1655 story Posted 05 Dec 2016 by jjs_78626




One of the romantic couples in the ancestry of ELIZA JANE was her 6th great grandparents, WILLIAM BRYAN and LADY ALICE NEEDHAM.

There are different accounts of WILLIAM BRYAN and LADY ALICE NEEDHAM but most agree that he was Catholic and she was Protestant, and her father did not approve of a marriage between them, so they eloped in 1689 and were married shortly before the Battle of Boyne in July 1690.

WILLIAM was born in 1655 in County Claire, Ireland. LADY ALICE NEEDHAM, the daughter of LORD NEEDHAM, Viscount of Killarey, was born in 1656 and died in 1729 or 1739. The 2nd volume of the Magna Charta Descendants 1944 reported the marriage of WILLIAM BRYAN, Marquis of Thomond, to Lady ALICE NEEDHAM, suggesting political differences as the reason for parental disapproval. WILLIAM was named Marquis of Thormond, though other researchers state that title did not exist then. He could have been Earl of Inchiquin.

After their marriage, they came to Isle of Wight County, Virginia, finally settling on the Albemarle sound in North Carolina. He served as High Sheriff and Justice of the Peace for Bertie County, and was a member of the Colonial Assembly for Pasquotank County, NC. He died in the year 1743. ALICE died in 1729. WILLIAM and ALICE’S granddaughter, RACHEL, married WILLIAM WHITFIELD I. See more on the WHITFIELDS.

Alice NEEDHAM and Wm. BRYAN /N. C.

By Joyce Ream February 05, 2011 at 11:48:43

In reply to: Re: Alice NEEDHAM and Wm. BRYAN /N. C. Averette Lackey 3/26/10

Hi Averette.I have only just seen your message and I was very interested inyour posting regarding Alice Needham and William Bryan.

I have done extensive research into this family, Charles Needham, the youngest son of Charles Needham the 4th Viscount Kilmorey and his wife, Elizabeth Sedley are my 6 x great-grandparents.

Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey, was engaged in an uprising to restore King Charles II to the throne, but, when this was defeated on August 5th, 1659, he was taken as a prisoner to London, where he died suddenly the following year. He was buried in the family tomb in the church at Adderley, Shropshire. The Administration for the estate of Charles Viscount Kilmorey of Shavington, Shropshire, was dated July 3rd, 1661, and it mentioned his five minor children in the following order:

  1. Robert
  2. Mary
  3. Thomas
  4. Byron
  5. Charles

A private act of Parliament was passed in 1676 (29 Charles II) to pay off the debts of £2,052/9/1 of Charles late Lord Viscount Kilmorey, and to make financial provision for his sons, Thomas, Byron, and Charles.

An error that surfaces periodically suggests that Charles Needham and Bridget Drury had a daughter named Alice, who married William Bryan and emigrated to America with him. However, it cannot be stressed too strongly that, in the Administration of Charles Needham's estate, his five living children are mentioned, only one of them, Mary, being a daughter. Moreover, with these five children, plus one other who had died in infancy, there is simply no room for an extra child. Thus, there cannot possibly be another daughter, Alice, in this family.

You can find my research into the Needham (Kilmorey) family on my home page


I hope this will be of interest and help to you.Don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.

Best wishes

Joyce Ream https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/needham/1614/


  1. https://www.wikitree.com/photo/png/Needham-201
  2. Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2006. Page 4
  3. Robert Armistead Stewart The Researcher, 1926
  4. The original lists of persons of quality; who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 by Hotten, John Camden, Publisher London : Hotten 1874. page 180
  5. Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Virginia Census, 1607-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
  6. https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/30416499?h=4de608

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William Bryant married Alice MacLand. Alice was the daughter of John MacLand and Elizabeth Alice NEEDHAM.


John Macland BIRTH 1 Jun 1615 Isle of Wight County, Virginia, USA DEATH 9 Nov 1705 (aged 90) Isle of Wight County, Virginia, USA BURIAL St. Luke's Cemetery Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, USA MEMORIAL ID 213492854 · View Source MEMORIAL PHOTOS 0 FLOWERS 2 John Macland son of John and Elizabeth Garye Macland married on 1 June 1631 in Isle of Wight County, Virgina, Elizabeth Alice Needham the daughter of Sir Robert and Eleanor Dutton Needham. ____________________________________________ John Macland in the Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 No Name: John Macland Date: 1 Jun 1705 Location: Isle of Wight Notes: This probate record was extracted from microfilmed copies of the original Will Book. Remarks: John Macland. Leg.-daughter Alice Bryant; grandchildren Nicholas, John and Elizabeth Perry; grandchildren Needham (incorrect transcription Woodham), William, John; daughter Alice Bryant; wife Elizabeth Extx. Description: Testator Book: 2-473 Prove date: 9 Nov 1705"

posted by Valerie Plejdrup